WINDHOEK, 24 JUL – The ‘Baby Warriors’ qualified for the semi-finals of the 2018 Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) Under-17 Championship after beating Botswana 2-0 on Tuesday.
Goals from Prins Tjiueza and Gonzales Tsuseb was all Namibia needed to beat their neighbours Botswana at the Anjalay stadium in Belle Vue Muarel, Mauritius.
With Tuesday’s victory, Namibia’s Under-17 national football team finished top of Group A with a better goal difference than Mauritius and Botswana, who finished second and third respectively despite all three teams being level on six points. Seychelles finished bottom of the group without a point.
Speaking to Nampa via WhatsApp after the game, team coach Paul ‘Shakes’ Malembu said the boys showed up in style to book themselves a place in the next round of the competition.
“We are not a powerhouse in Africa, but we are a nation with talent. We are still celebrating the results because we are here to enjoy ourselves and give the boys a chance to grow in football,” Malembu said.
He added that getting out of the group stages means a lot for Namibian football and said they are not yet totally focused on their next assignment in the competition against Angola on Friday.
“After we lost to Mauritius we had to concentrate more on the boys’ mentality and we had to encourage them to keep believing. There was a lot at stake and they got it right. We will now have to relax and then regroup and plan for Angola in the semi-finals and then see how far we can go,” he said.
Namibia will meet Angola at the St Francois Xavier Stadium at 13h30.
The Cosafa U-17 Championship serves as a qualifier for the 2019 African U-17 Championships to be played in Tanzania, which in turn is a qualifier for the FIFA World Cup in Peru later that year.